If Dennis Phillips does ride his chip lead and win the World Series of Poker's Main Event, he won't be the only one to benefit.
Phillips has pledged to donate 1 percent of his tournament winnings to the Prevent Cancer Foundation's "Bad Beat on Cancer" fundraiser after the Final Table event in November.
PokerStars is joining the battle as well. The site pledged to match Phillips' donation dollar-for-dollar. That could mean the donation could tally as much as $182,000, as the first place payout is $9.1 million.
"I am thrilled to contribute a portion of my WSOP earnings to the Prevent Cancer Foundation," Phillips said in a press release. "“Charity involvement has always been an important part of my life, and hopefully more poker players and final table participants with follow suit in upcoming poker circuits like the European Poker Tour and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.”
Phillips was active with a number of other charities, including those that battle multiple sclerosis, something he got into years ago after his brother was diagnosed with the disease.
PokerStars continues to donate to its own causes. The site recently donated $51,000 to the Kentucky Hemophilia Foundation and gave Donald Hobbs, who is afflicted with the disease, a chance to play in the Main Event.
The Bad Beat on Cancer fundraiser started in 2003 as a drive to help fund cancer research and prevention. Organizers asked poker players to pledge just 1 percent of their winnings as a tax-deductible donation. Some players, such as Phil Gordon, have embraced the organization and held their own events to raise money for the foundation.
Since 2003, the Bad Beat on Cancer initiative has grown to include many poker tournaments and players.
Phillips continues the tradition in 2008. Even if he finishes ninth out of the November Nine, cancer prevention gets a boost, and that's something that will benefit all of us.